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A novel

Chapter 1 A spoiled birthday …………………………………………… Pg.3 Chapter 2 A surprise ………………………………………………………. Pg.11 Chapter 3 Yet another surprise ………………………………………... Pg.18 Chapter 4 The big move. …………………………………………………Pg.21 Chapter 5 A sad farewell party ………………………………………..Pg.28 Chapter 6 A misfortune ……………………………………………………Pg.33 Chapter 7 The letter ……………………………………………………….Pg.43

A spoiled birthday

Cassandra woke up startled, because the alarm clock was ringing in her ear. After she had calmed down she thought about the plans for the day. Today was her mother’s thirty-fourth birthday and Cassandra wanted to make it a very special day for her. After Cassandra got home from school the plan was for her and her dad to hide by the front door, and then when her mother arrived home from work, They going to surprise her and sing “happy birthday,” and then give her presents. Then they were going to give a party, (the whole family was invited.) Cassandra started getting ready, singing as she went. After getting ready she went into the kitchen and cheerfully greeted her parents. Her father gave her a bear hug, and her mother gave her a hug and planted a kiss on top of her head. After eating her waffles, she grabbed her backpack, and said goodbye to her parents. Walking out the front door, Cassandra greedily breathed the fresh spring air in. For what reason she didn’t know why, but she felt like the happiest kid on planet earth. After walking a little way down the street a bus approached, its doors opened welcoming Cassandra inside. “Hi Mr. Jones”. Cassandra greeted the bus driver warmly. “Good morning Cassandra”. Mr. Jones replied Cassandra walked to the back of the bus where her best friends were. “Hi guys.” Cassandra called out to her friends. “Hi Cassandra.” Several voices echoed back. After taking a seat in the back of the bus, she started telling her friends about her mother’s birthday. “You guys should come over and say happy birthday to her, and then maybe we can play outside.” “That’s a great idea.” Said Sarah. Sarah was one of Cassandra’s best chums. Cassandra talked with Sarah, and before they knew it they were at school.

After getting off the bus, Sarah and Cassandra went straight to their lockers to grab their books. They had lots of time before class, so they went to the coatroom to chat. “So what are you doing for your mom today on her birthday?” Sarah asked. “We are going to throw a party for her, and then were going to go to the movies.” “I wish I could be there with you, but I have music practice.” Sarah said sadly. “Oh, I’m sorry! How about this: I will save you a piece of cake, and you can eat it when you come over tomorrow to see my mom.” “Ok.” Sarah’s face lightened up. “Sarah can you believe that we are going to be twelve years old soon?” Cassandra asked. “Oh, I almost forgot about that!” Sarah exclaimed. “Life is flying right by us and we don’t even know it! It’s almost like an eagle with wings.” “Cassandra you put it perfectly where does life ever end?” Sarah said this while staring at the wall as though she was asking the wall that very question. Bbrrrrriiinggg! “That’s the bell. Come on Sarah.” Cassandra said, tugging at her friend’s sleeve, pulling Sarah out of her daydream. The whole class piled into the Fifth grade classroom making a racket of noise. Ms. Gildart was patiently sitting at her desk waiting for all of the students to be seated quietly. Ms. Gildart was the kindest teacher you could have possibly known. She was never strict. She taught her class with the uttermost kindness and patience that you could ever possibly want from a teacher. She was a fun teacher as well. Ms. Gildart was a gentle teacher and she always explained things in great detail and made sure that you understood everything. She never left you hanging in the air. Ms. Gildart was one of those rare teachers that made you want to go to school, because of her characteristics and she was fun. As the noise died down, Ms, Gildart got up from her desk and stood at the front of the classroom, with a big smile on her face. “Good morning students, I have a big announcement to make before we began class “What is it?” shouted the whole class. “Next week we are going to take a field trip to cedar point.” The whole Fifth grade class went wild with excitement! “Ok, Ok, calm down class, don’t let your excitement takeover yet until next week. ”Ms. Gildart made an attempt to calm them down. After class was dismissed, it was lunchtime. Everyone’s conversations consisted of nothing but, and about cedar point. Cassandra and Sarah sat at on table side by side eating tuna sandwiches.

“Sarah, are you going to cedar point?” Asked Cassandra. “Of course my mom and dad always intended for me to go, the reason why we have not gone yet is because my dad always has to work, and he wants to come with if we were to go.” “If you were to go any where in the world where would you go?” Cassandra asked. Sarah took a bite of her sandwich before giving an answer. “I would love to go to Germany or France.” “What would you do if you were to go there?” “I would learn music.” Sarah answered dreamily. Both girls were quiet for a moment, and then Sarah broke the silence. “Cassandra, what do you want to be when you grow up?” “Either a teacher like Ms. Gildart or a writer.” Cassandra answered. Cassandra and Sarah were deeply absorbed in this conversation that they didn’t pay any attention to the clock, and they were surprised to hear the bell ring. After returning back to class, Ms. Gildart started to handout slips of paper asking parents to sign so that the children could go to cedar point. Ms. Gildart also started to explain what they would need on the field trip. After explaining everything about the trip, Ms. Gildart gave instructions for a math assignment, which they had to do. After about two hours of working on math and reading, class was dismissed for them to go home. Cassandra and Sarah met at their lockers, to get their books, and backpacks. The girls along with the rest of the class got on the bus. “Sarah don’t forget to come over to my house tomorrow.” “Oh I promise I won’t” Before long the bus stopped at Cassandra’s house. “Bye Sarah.” Cassandra said to her friend as she got up from her seat. “Bye Cassandra.” Sarah replied. Cassandra walked off of the bus and turned around to wave at her friends. Cassandra walked up the porch to the front door of her home. It was a family custom to come home and shout to everyone “I’m home.” And that’s exactly what Cassandra did. “Dad, I’m home.” There was complete silence throughout the house. “Dad, I’m home.” Cassandra shouted again. There was still heavy silence in the house. Cassandra started feeling scared. Where was dad he said he would be home by now? Well, maybe he wasn’t home from work yet he’ll be home soon, Cassandra tried desperately to comfort herself with this thought, but in spite of it something did not seem right. She set her backpack down on the floor by the front door and went into the living room to wait for her father.

After waiting a half an hour, Cassandra went to the phone hanging on the kitchen wall and called her dads office phone. His secretary answered the phone; Cassandra asked if her father was going to be working late tonight. Mrs. Whiston his secretary said that her father would be working very, something had occurred. After thanking his secretary Cassandra put the phone on the hook, and sank into a chair very disappointed. Her mother was going to be very unhappy that he was staying late, and it was her mother’s birthday! Cassandra had planned for today to be good birthday for her mother. “Everything is spoiled!” Cassandra wailed to the silent house. Cassandra got up from her chair and went to the cookie jar on the counter, and took out three cookies to console herself. While eating her cookies Cassandra thought about how she was going to tell her mother that her birthday was spoiled. After eating the cookies and brushing the cookie crumbs off of her hands, Cassandra decided she might as well do her homework while waiting for her mother to get home. Cassandra went to the front door where she set her backpack down and took out her math homework and sat at the kitchen table. After making an attempt to try at her division problems she gave up with a feeling of utter hopelessness. She stared hard at her math paper thinking, and than all of a sudden an alarming look came across her face. Cassandra forgot to buy her mother a birthday present and it was her mother’s birthday. While she was thinking about this, she heard the front door opened and she heard her mother shouting: “Hello everyone I’m home” Cassandra’s heart sank within her, she did not want to tell her mom that she was going to have a spoiled birthday and that her dad was not home. Cassandra came out of the kitchen and walked toward the front door where her mother was standing. “Hi dear.” Cassandra’s mother said, setting her purse down and coming over to hug Her. “Hi Mom.” Cassandra replied. “Why dear, what’s the matter? You don’t look well.” Cassandra’s mother exclaimed, feeling her daughter’s forehead with her hand. “Oh I feel fine mom.” Cassandra said hoping that she sounded convincing. “Are you sure?” Mrs. Warrangton said, with a very anxious look on her face. Mrs. Warrangton was of course Cassandra’s mother. Her last name was Mrs. Warrangton. “I promise mom, I feel fine.” Cassandra didn’t mean what she was saying, but she didn’t want to worry her mom over her own birthday. “Ok, your dad is

late. I presume he’s working late; I’d better give him a call to see what’s up.” Mrs. Warrangton started to move toward the phone but Cassandra stopped her. “I already called his secretary, he is going to be working late.” Cassandra said. “Oh I wonder why.” Mrs. Warrangton stroked her chin. “His secretary said that something had occurred.” Cassandra said. Mrs. Warrangton did not answer this time; she had a worried look on her face. After standing and staring into space for some time, she said: ”Well, I hope everything is going to be okay.” Mrs. Warrangton started being brisk in her odd way when unusual situations happened. “Did you finish your homework?” “No; I started it but couldn't plough through it.” Cassandra replied. “Do you want me to help you before I start dinner?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “No thanks, mom, I’ll try on my own.” Cassandra replied. Cassandra didn’t want her mother to see how worried she was felling and why she was feeling so bad. She knew that if she let her mother help her with her homework, all of her worries would come pouring out of her and she would make her mother feel bad. “Well, let me know if you need any help; I’m going to start dinner.” Mrs. Warrangton walked away, rubbing her hands. “Oh, what am I to do?” Cassandra wailed to herself. She went back to the kitchen table and tried to do her math, but somehow she could not do it. She tried to force herself into it, because she knew her mother would see her not working and ask if she wanted help again. She only got three math problems done before she was staring into space again. The smell of roast beef drifted through the house making Cassandra’s mouth water. “Maybe I’ll be able to work after I eat,” Cassandra decided. Mrs. Warrangton saw that Cassandra was not doing her work and assumed that she needed help again. Cassandra, do you need help?” Mrs. Warrangton asked as she walked over to the kitchen table where Cassandra was sitting. “No, I’m going to do my work after supper; I’m pretty hungry.” Cassandra replied. “Well I’ll hurry dinner along then.” Cassandra made an attempt at her homework again, but failed. Cassandra felt really bad about her mother’s birthday. Whenever it was someone’s birthday, everyone sacrificed to make that person feel special and for that person to have good time. Cassandra forgot to buy her mother something for her mom, and whatever it was that was urgent at her father’s office, he had no choice but to stay there. Mrs. Warrangton’s birthday was neglected and Cassandra felt absolutely awful about it. Mrs. Warrangton acted as though it had never been her birthday and it was just a normal day, and that everything was fine.

Cassandra was surprised at this. “She had to have noticed that today was her birthday and that know one was making it a good day for her. She just had to.” Cassandra muttered to herself. “Cassandra will you set the table please remember, only two plates; your father is going to be late.” Mrs. Warrangton called to Cassandra. Cassandra took the deadly math sheets off the table and set them on the couch in the living room. Cassandra bushed her hands off and went into the kitchen to wash up. She was on her own world and she didn’t realize that she was dripping water in the floor, which her mother had told her not to do. Right then Mrs. Warrangton was stirring gravy on the stove, and then she turned around to find Cassandra dripping water on the floor with a dazed look in her eyes. “Cassandra, what has gotten into you? Go and dry your hands this minute and wipe the floor up.” “Sorry mom.” Cassandra said while going to get a towel. She dried her hands and the floor and then went to go and set the table. She set two places at the table along with two sets of utensils. She set the tableware down roughly which she never usually did. “Cassandra, help me bring the vegetables to the table please.” Cassandra brought the steaming vegetables to the table and sat down and watched her mom carry the rest of the food to the table. Mrs. Warrangton took off her apron and sat at her place at the table. Mr. Warrangton was usually there to say the blessing, but he was not (which was very unusual to Mrs. Warrangton and Cassandra.) So Mrs. Warrangton said the blessing this time. After she said the blessing, she started dishing out the vegetables, and the roast beef, and mashed potatoes. Cassandra’s plate was piled high, and she ate with good appetite. Whenever Cassandra was unhappy about something she had very good appetite. Cassandra was very quiet at dinner, which was so unusual. She usually talked about the day’s events at school, her homework, or various other things; but today she was very silent indeed. “Cassandra you’re very quiet today. Is something wrong?” Mrs. Warrangton asked her daughter. “Oh no.” Cassandra didn’t really think that she was lying to her mother she just didn’t want to make her mother unhappy. Cassandra forced herself to talk about going to cedar point with her whole class and Ms. Gildart. Cassandra didn’t feel the excitement as much as she did in class earlier as she was telling her mother. “Do you want to go, Cassandra?” Mrs. Warrington asked. “Of course I do, Mom.” Cassandra replied. “Do you have a slip from your teacher to sign?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “Yes.” Cassandra said sounding very unhappy. She tried to change the subject. Most of the dinner consisted of silence. When dinner was over Mrs. Warrangton asked Cassandra dessert.

“Of course mom I never refuse dessert.” Cassandra cried, her spirits rose at the thought of dessert. Mrs. Warrangton bustled into the kitchen to get the desserts. After blueberry pie was set in front of her, Cassandra indulged herself in to it. After a while of eating Mrs. Warrangton was really wondering about her daughter. “Cassandra why are you so quiet today?” “Oh I didn’t know I was.” Cassandra replied, acting aloof. Dessert passed by with much silence. After dinner Cassandra helped her mother clear the table and wash the dishes. After the kitchen work was done, mother and daughter took their aprons off. Now Cassandra decided that she was going to do her homework. Mrs. Warrangton asked again if she could help. Cassandra gave in and let her. Cassandra didn’t feel right not talking to her mother all evening, nor did she feel good about ignoring her mothers birthday. Mrs. Warrangton and Cassandra sat at the kitchen table together doing math. Cassandra managed to do two problems with her mothers help. Mrs. Warrangton was explaining the sixth problem when Cassandra started not to pat any attention. “Lets try the problem this way Cassandra. If ten times two is twenty than what is twenty divided by……….. “Mom can we stop for a second and talk, please?” Cassandra interrupted “Why of course what is it dear?” Mrs. Warrangton settled comfortably in her seat and looked at her daughter with fond eyes. “I’m sorry that you didn’t have a birthday today, and I’m sorry for not talking to you at dinner.” “Oh, its ok dear. I understand the circumstances; your father was not home today and we couldn’t do a thing about it. Is that the reason why you didn’t talk the whole day to me because of my birthday?” “Yes, and I’m so sorry.” Cassandra felt like crying but she knew that an eleven-year-old girl turning twelve would not cry. It wouldn’t be a very mature thing to do. “Oh there is nothing to be sorry about, I understand.” Mrs. Warrangton hugged her daughter close. “Oh, I’m so glad to have a mother who understands everything.” Mother and daughter hugged for a moment and then Cassandra spoke. “Mom how come you didn’t seem unhappy or say anything about your birthday being ignored?” “Because that is not a mothers job, a mother is supposed to act like a mother who cares more about her children than herself, and a mother does not complain.” Mrs. Warrangton explained. “Oh I understand now.” Well, lets finish this homework before tomorrow.” Mrs. Warrangton said. The whole evening passed while Mrs. Warrangton helped Cassandra with her homework.

After the homework was finished Mrs. Warrangton and Cassandra had a snack. “Mom, what do you think happened at the office that is important enough to keep dad late?” Cassandra asked, munching a cracker. “I don’t know but he’ll be home tonight.” Mrs.Warrangton replied. After the snack was finished Mrs. Warrangton and Cassandra talked a while longer before going to bed. Cassandra was up in her bedroom putting on a nightgown when Mrs. Warrangton came in. “Mom, dad still is not home.” Cassandra pointed out. “Yes, I know. He just called from the office. He is going to be a hour longer.” “Can’t we stay up?” Cassandra pleaded. “No dear, you and I will go to bed and we will both see dad tomorrow. Come on, get into bed.” Mrs. Warrangton pulled the covers back on Cassandra’s bed and plumped the pillows for her and then patted the bed invitingly. Cassandra gladly jumped in while her mother pulled the covers over her. “Mom, are you sure dad is going to come home?” Cassandra asked. “Yes, I promise you. Stop worrying; you need to go to sleep.” Mrs. Warrangton said. “Ok, mom. Goodnight.” Cassandra snuggled deeper under the covers. “Goodnight, dear.” Mrs. Warrangton kissed her daughter. Cassandra watched her mother walk over to the door, and put her hand on the light switch. “Mom.” Cassandra called out in time before the lights went out. “Yes, honey?” “Happy birthday!” Mrs. Warrangton’s sweet smile came slowly across her face, and her eyes sparkled. “Thank you Cassandra.” Mrs. Warrangton shut the lights off and walked out, shutting the door behind her. Cassandra laid in the dark, thinking about how glad she was that her mother was not mad at her for a spoiled birthday. She was still disappointed that she couldn’t do a thing about it. “Dad is going to be home tomorrow.” Cassandra rolled over and dropped off to a haven of sweet dreams.

A surprise

“Cassandra, wake up.” A sleepy eyed Cassandra peeped from under the covers. Mr. Warrangton was shaking his daughter awake. “What’s the matter?” Cassandra looked at her father with half open eyes. Her father looked extremely blurry, but Cassandra opened her eyes fully and practically jumped into her father’s arms. “Dad!” was all she could say. “Shh, Cassandra! Don’t wake your mother up.” Mr. Warrangton’s eyes sparkled. “Why not, Dad?” Cassandra asked. “Because we have some shopping to do.” Mr. Warrangton replied. “Shopping?” Cassandra looked at her father dumbly and then suddenly a look of recognition came across her face. “Mom’s birthday.” Cassandra acknowledged. “Yes, now hurry and get dressed.” Mr. Warrangton walked out of the room. Cassandra was suddenly wide-awake, and in seconds she was dressed. She came bounding down the stairs and found her father waiting at the front door. Father and daughter got into the Pontiac and drove off to Mr. Burton’s Everything Warehouse. It was called Mr. Burton’s Everything Warehouse because it had literally everything one could think of in it. “Dad, what are we going to buy Mom today?” Cassandra asked. “I don’t know, but I do know some of what we are going to give her.” Mr. Warrangton looked very mischievous. “What, Dad?” “You’ll see.” Mr. Warrangton looked very pleased with himself. Cassandra kept wondering what it was. She was practically bouncing in her seat, that’s how excited she was. When they arrived at Mr. Burtons Everything Warehouse, they walked in and gazed at everything hanging on shelves and walls. “Come on, dad, lets go and look at the dresses,” Cassandra tugged at her fathers arm. She loved looking at the dresses. They were so beautiful and at the moment she felt like a grown-up, picking out something for her own mother. They walked over to the women’s’ section and started looking around. Mrs. Burton walked over to them and asked if they needed any help. She was, or course, Mr. Burton’s wife, and they both were part owners of the Everything Warehouse. “No thanks, Mrs. Burton,” said Mr. Warrangton kindly. Father and daughter walked around looking at all of the pretty dresses when all of a sudden Cassandra pointed and her eyes grew big. Mr. Warrangton looked in the direction his daughter’s finger was pointing.

Sitting in all its glory in a showcase was a light blue silk ball gown with puffed sleeves. “Oh, Dad! It’s wonderful; I never saw anything like it before!” She looked flabbergasted. “Yes, it sure is stunning.” Mr. Warrangton acknowledged, “but I’m sure its too much money.” Mr. Warrangton was very pragmatic when it came to situations like this. “But, Dad, Mom will look so beautiful in it! And thing how happy she’ll be! We have to get it!” Cassandra pleaded. “I know, honey, but we have to be sensible with our money.” Cassandra was very disappointed. “Lets look for something else.” Cassandra tried to look for something else, but she had her heart set on that ball gown. A couple of times Mr. Warrangton suggested other dresses, but Cassandra said no. After a half-hour of looking around, Mr. Warrangton went back over to the showcase were the ball gown was stored. Cassandra was in a section nearby, looking in vain for another dress. She happened to look over to where her father was—he was right by the showcase were the ball gown was stored. Next to Mr. Warrangton was Mr. Burton, taking the gown out of the showcase. Cassandra ran over to where her father was standing and tapped him on the shoulder. “Are we going to get it dad?” “Yes, I decided we might as well; because that is the only thing that your heart is set on, and your mother would look beautiful in it.” “Hurrah!” Cassandra whooped for joy. Her eyes held a special shine in them, which they always held when she was personally happy about something. As Mr. Burton was taking the dress out of the showcase, Mr. Warrangton was paying for it at the counter with Mrs. Burton. After the dress was bought Mr. Warrangton told Cassandra to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Burton while he went and got the Pontiac and brought it to the door. While he was gone, Cassandra feasted her eyes on that fantastic, silky beauty. “May I feel the dress please?” Cassandra asked Mrs. Burton. She yearned to feel the silk on that beautiful dress. “Why, yes of course.” Mrs. Burton gave permission. Cassandra felt the dress, and oh, yes it was wonderfully silky. By the time the dress was wrapped Mr. Warrangton had the car close to the door. Mr. Burton helped Mr. Warrangton put the dress in the back of the Pontiac. After the dress was put in the back, and thank you’s and goodbyes were given to the Burtons, Cassandra and Mr. Warrangton left to go home. “Oh dad, mom will be so delighted!” Cassandra said. “Yes, I think so too.” Mr. Warrangton said. “How are we going to sneak it into the house?” Cassandra asked. “Well you’re going to have to distract her while I put it into the basement, and then after breakfast we’ll wrap it up.” Mr. Warrangton said. Cassandra hadn’t even thought of breakfast in the midst of all of the excitement, but now that her dad said something about it she was starving.

“I’m starving, Dad.” “Breakfast here we come.” Mr. Warrangton drove a little faster toward home. Before long they reached home. Walking through the front door, a whiff of pancakes and sausages greeted them. Walking over to the table, they saw pancakes, sausages, and syrup. It looked as good as it smelled when they first walked in. Mrs. Warrangton was at the stove frying extra sausages. Cassandra and her father sat down and Mrs. Warrangton was surprised to see them there. “Hi, dear.” Mrs. Warrangton kissed her husband and gave her daughter a hug. “Where have you two been?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. Cassandra was tonguetied all of a sudden; she did not want to give away the surprise, nor did she want to lie. Mr. Warrangton, however seem prepared for this question. “Oh we just went out for a little walk.” Cassandra looked at her father in amazement—he was lying! “Oh, well, you two looked very refreshed after your walk. Cassandra’s cheeks are pink, and my husband looks very relaxed.” Mrs. Warrangton remarked. Cassandra’s cheeks always got pink whenever she was excited about something, and Mr. Warrangton didn’t really look refreshed; it must have been an optical illusion to Mrs. Warrangton. Mrs. Warrangton finally sat down. Mr. Warrangton said the blessing and they started eating. Cassandra tried to talk at the breakfast table, but her minds eye was looking at that beautiful dress. “So what are you guys going to do today?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “I’m going to clean the basement.” Mr. Warrangton said. “I’m going to help dad clean the basement, and then my friend Sarah is going to come over.” Cassandra replied “Oh, guess I’m not the only one to be doing work.” Mrs. Warrangton said. “Mom, what work are you doing today?” Cassandra asked. “I’m going to wash the windows and clean the living room.” Mrs. Warrangton replied. Breakfast was soon over and the plates were being cleared off. Mrs. Warrangton was in the kitchen and Cassandra met her father in the living room. “Cassandra, I want you to distract your mother somehow, while I bring the dress in the basement.” Cassandra nodded an ok to her dad and ran back into the kitchen. “Lets see what I can distract her with?” Cassandra thought. She decided to clean her room (which was always dirty) and then bring her mother up to see it. She ran upstairs to her room and made her bed as fast as she could, and shoved all her messy things into the closet. “Mom, Mom,” Cassandra was shouting as she came running down the stairs. “What, dear?” “Come and see my room! It’s clean.” Cassandra said. “I’m busy, dear.” Mrs. Warrangton said. “No, Mom! You have to see it right now, I can’t wait any longer.” Cassandra tugged at her mom’s arms, begging and pleading.

“Ok, I’ll take a quick look at it.” Mrs. Warrangton gave in. Cassandra hopped up the stairs ahead of her mother and came into her room and twirled around and said: “Ta-da” “Well, well, Cassandra. This is a wonder to me; I never thought you would actually clean your room.” Mrs. Warrangton exclaimed. “I wanted to surprise you.” Cassandra smiled and danced about the room. “You certainly did.” Mrs. Warrangton said. “Do you like it?” Cassie asked. “I certainly do,” said Mrs. Warrangton. Mrs. Warrangton looked around the room once more and turned to leave. “Wait, Mom! I have a math problem that I need help with,” Cassandra said as she went digging through her backpack. She didn’t really have a math problem that she needed help with, but she knew that her father couldn’t have gotten the dress into the basement yet. “Here it is!” Cassandra said, pointing at the piece of paper. Mrs. Warrangton went through the boring process of explaining how to divide a certain problem. Cassandra blocked her out, and kept wondering whether her father had gotten the dress into the basement or not. Mrs. Warrangton finally finished explaining and Cassandra decided to let her mom go. After her mom returned to the kitchen, Cassandra threw the hideous math sheet into her backpack and ran downstairs to find her father waiting for her in the living room. Mr. Warrangton went into the kitchen with Cassandra trailing on his heels. “We’re going to go and clean the basement,” Mr. Warrangton called out to his wife. “Ok, honey; I’m starting on my windows,” Mrs. Warrangton replied. Mr. Warrangton went down to the basement with Cassandra right behind him. “What did you do to distract your mother?” he asked. “I cleaned my room and called her up to see it and then I pretended I had a math problem that I needed help with.” “Well, you did a good job. By the way, I want to see this clean room of yours. Did you really tidy it?” Cassie’s Dad teased. “Yes, sir!” “What a surprise,” Mr. Warrangton chuckled. Father and daughter started wrapping the dress with tissue paper. It took a really long time to wrap the whole thing. While they were wrapping, a question suddenly popped into Cassandra’s head and she had to ask it right then. “Dad, didn’t you lie to mom when you said that we just went out for a walk? Because we didn’t go for a walk, we went to the store.” Mr. Warrangton finished wrapping his end of the dress before he answered. “Cassandra, it’s not necessarily lying when you’re surprising someone. If I had told your mother that we went to the store and got her a dress for her birthday, the whole thing would be given away and it wouldn’t be a surprise. Now,

it would be different if you went into your mother’s room and stole her jewelry, then said you hadn’t. That is lying; but not if you’re surprising someone. Do you understand?” “Yes. Now I understand,” Cassandra said. They finished wrapping the dress and added a bow to it. “There. That’s done,” said Mr. Warrangton, as he took a deep breath. “Let’s clean the basement and get that over with, Dad,” said Cassandra, jumping up. “No, we don’t have to. That’s just what your mother thinks we’re doing,” said Cassandra’s Dad. “How do we surprise her?” Cassandra asked. “We’ll just wait until after she finishes washing the windows,” Mr. Warrangton replied. “Are we going to stay in the basement until she’s done?” asked Cassandra. “Yes, until she calls us for lunch,” Mr. Warrangton said. A couple minutes after that, Mrs. Warrangton called them for lunch. “Are we going to surprise her now?” Cassandra whispered to her Dad. “After lunch,” Mr. Warrangton whispered back. The whole family sat at the table and Mr. Warrangton said the blessing. All of them bit deep into ham sandwiches. “Did you clean the basement?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “Yes, we did. I have a very helpful daughter, here.” Mr. Warrangton put his hand on Cassandra’s shoulder. “Mom, did you clean your windows?” Cassandra asked, hiding her eagerness. “Yes, I did.” Right then, the phone rang. Mrs. Warrangton got up and answered it. “Cassie, it’s for you.” Cassandra got up from the table, walked over to the phone and took it from her mom. “Hello?” “Hi, Cassandra. It’s Sarah. Can I come over today to say Happy Birthday to your mom…and eat some cake?” Sarah joked. “Um…can I call you back?” Cassandra wanted to talk to Sarah about the birthday, but her mom was right there so she couldn’t. “Ok, sure,” came Sarah’s reply. They hung up and Cassandra walked back to the table. Her parents looked at her expectantly. “Who was that?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “Sarah, from school,” said Cassandra. “What did she want?” Cassandra groped for an answer. “She was wondering when our math assignment was due,” she responded, remembering what her Dad had taught her about it not being a lie if you’re only trying to surprise someone.

After lunch the dishes were done, while Cassandra and Mr. Warrangton went into the basement to get the gift. “Mom, why don’t you come into the living room and rest after cleaning windows?” Cassandra prompted. “I guess I could for a couple minutes,” Mrs. Warrangton said, sinking into a chair with a sigh. Mr. Warrangton came in with the wrapped box and handed it to his wife. “Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday Dear Mom, Happy Birthday to YOU!” Cassandra and her father sang happy birthday and then hugged and kissed Mrs. Warrangton. “Well, this is a surprise!” she exclaimed. Cassandra bounced on the couch with delight, while Mr. Warrangton smiled in his calm, composed way. Mrs. Warrangton opened her present piece by piece until the blue silk appeared. When the whole thing was unwrapped, her eyes were shining and she looked totally shocked. “Oh, thank you both!” she said as she hugged Cassandra and her father hard. She looked like she was going to cry. “Don’t cry on your birthday,” said Mr. Warrangton as he put his arms around her. “Go try it on, mom,” Cassandra suggested. “Yes, go try it on, dear,” Mr. Warrangton, prompted her while giving her a hard squeeze. Mrs. Warrangton got up and went upstairs to try on the dress. “Let’s wait for her at the bottom of the stairs,” said Cassandra, pulling on her father’s sleeve. They went and waited. After a couple of minutes, Mrs. Warrangton appeared at the top of the stairs holding the blue train of silk. She trailed gracefully down the stairs like a swan. Cassandra and Mr. Warrangton predicted her to look beautiful, but she looked beyond beautiful—she looked stunning!! The blue silk looked perfect on Mrs. Warrangton against her dark complexion and dark brown hair. “Mom, you look amazing!” Cassandra breathed. “You look stunning in that!” Mr. Warrangton exclaimed. Mrs. Warrangton twirled like a ballerina into her husband’s arms. “Guess what, ladies?” asked Mr. Warrangton. “What?” they said in stereo. “I’ve invited some of our friends over for a surprise birthday party!” announced Cassandra’s Dad proudly.

Cassandra called Sarah and explained that her mother’s birthday party was today. Sarah rejoiced because she thought she missed it, but she didn’t because now she could join in the celebration. Cassandra wore a pretty dress, her mom kept on her blue silk, and everyone ate cake, and then enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of the afternoon.

Yet another surprise

It was a Sunday morning. Cassandra and her parents just got back from church, and they were on there way to a knew luxurious restaurant in town called Abbe’s. It was a French restaurant. When Cassandra heard that it was a French restaurant she was scared because she did not know French; but her parents knew French and said they would order for her. For Cassandra it seemed strange to have parents that knew another language other than English, but she tried to ignore it. “Dad what am I going to have to eat?” Cassandra asked. “Shrimp of course.” Mrs. Warrangton was always a joker of the family. Shrimp was Cassandra’s least favorite food; that is why Mrs. Warrangton joked. “No, Dad I hate shrimp.” Cassandra cried. Mr. Warrangton laughed at his daughter’s outrage. “I’m just kidding; you’ll probably have a French appetizer. I heard that their food her is really good.” Pretty soon they arrived at Abbe’s. When they walked in, a hostess took care of them with the utmost supremeness. Before they were even seated, Mr. Warrangton announced that he was going to come back to this place again. The hostess set menus on the table and took their coats. The waiter walked up, greeted them a friendly good day, and folded their napkins neatly into their laps for them. Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton ordered soup Cassandra a French appetizer. Within minutes of ordering, the food arrived and was placed delicately on the table. “The service here is great.” Mr. Warrangton remarked. “I love it here; it’s so homely and comfortable.” Mrs. Warrangton said. The rumor that existed about the food being really delicious came to be true. Cassandra couldn’t quite distinguish what was in her appetizer, but it was very good. The Warrangton’s were waited upon like royalty and served hand and foot. They took their leisurely time at Abbe’s. When it was time to go, two waiters came to help put their coats on. Mr. Warrangton left a big fat tip for them. While they were getting into the car, Mr. Warrangton suggested that they take a drive out somewhere. “Where would we go?” Cassandra asked. “Nowhere in particular; its just nice to take a drive after church on Sunday.” Mr. Warrangton replied. Cassandra and Mr. Warrangton yielded to Mr. Warrangton’s suggestion. They drove around for a half-hour when all of a sudden Mr. Warrangton stopped by the side of the road. “I must blindfold you two.” Mr. Warrangton was of course referring to his wife and daughter?” Mrs. Warrangton and Cassandra chorused. “You’ll see.” Mr. Warrangton was looking very mischievous. They yielded to this as well, and Cassandra started to bounce in her seat, which was something, she always did when something mysterious was going on. Mr. Warrangton opened the trunk and took out two thick scarves and blindfolded his wife and daughter. After doing this, he got back into the car and started driving again. Cassandra was trying to make out where her dad was going, but

he turned left and right and in circles till her sense of direction was lost. Mr. Warrangton twisted and turned and then at last the Pontiac came to a screeching halt. “Can we take the blindfolds off now?” Cassandra asked impatiently. “No not just yet.” Mr. Warrangton helped Cassandra out of the car first, then his wife, and led them both to the secret surprise. Mr. Warrangton turned them around first one way then the other way and then stopped them and slipped the blindfolds over their heads. Cassandra stared with all her might. She was in some kind of house, apparently in the family room. The family had walls that were the color of whipping cream; the room had hardwood floors that were made from pine; and there was a window that faced a whole wide green land of pasture. Mrs. Warrangton seemed to be looking with all her might as well. “Dad, what is all this about?” Cassandra asked. “This is our new house.” Mr. Warrangton looked very happy with himself. “Oh, I have always wanted to move! This has been the dream of my life! Mrs. Warrangton was in a delirium. “Oh, dad, our house?” Cassandra asked blissfully. “Yes, our house.” Mr. Warrangton smiled. “Can I see the rest of it?” Cassandra asked, dancing lightly on her toes. “Go ahead.” Mr. Warrangton said. Cassandra ran into the kitchen to find white tile floors that glistened like snow. It almost made you scared to set foot in the kitchen for fear you’d muss it up. There was also a shining white stove, sink, and six wooden cabinets. “How is mom going to cook on that stove?” Cassandra asked herself. The stove was so white that even she would have felt guilty cooking on it. Cassandra felt like she had been staring at the kitchen a year before she finally tore herself away from it to go and look at the other rooms in the house. She came into the living room next to find it bare and nothing but a carpet in there. Mrs. Warrangton was in the living room as well. “This room needs some help.” She said. Cassandra decided to see the rooms upstairs, and ran lightly on the steps. The first room that she entered was somebody’s bedroom; it was very big and it had a bed in it. Mr. Warrangton explained that it was his and his wife’s bedroom. He led the way to Cassandra’s bedroom. Cassandra’s room had a carpet and a window. Cassandra ran to look out the window. “Dad, look my window faces the sunset in the evening.” Cassandra exclaimed. She was imagining her rocking chair right next to the window, and every day she could look at the sunset. “Dad, are we moving in today?” Cassandra asked. “No tomorrow.” Mr. Warrangton replied. Cassandra could not wait until tomorrow! She was very excited! She wanted to stay at the window in her room and look out all day long but Mr. Warrangton suggested that she take a look at the bathroom. She walked down the hall into the bathroom. Behold, the biggest bathroom she ever saw. Standing

In the corner was a bathtub on four pedestals. This was something compared to the small bathroom that was at her old house. Cassandra loved this house; she wished that they could move in today. She ran out the front door to look at the front of the house. The front of the house had four steps and a huge old-fashioned wrap-around porch, and the whole house was painted brown. Cassandra then went to the back of the house to find a huge green pasture; the land that surrounded them was all green. Mr. Warrangton came out and announced that it was time for them to leave. “Already?” Cassandra asked. “Yes, now come along! You’ll get to move in tomorrow.” They all got into the Pontiac and drove toward home “How far is it from our house to the new house?” Mrs. Warrangton asked her husband. “A couple of miles.” Mr. Warrangton replied. “If it’s only a couple of miles why did it seem to take us a while to get here?” “Because I twisted and turned so I could confuse you guys.” Mr. Warrangton said looking happy with himself. Soon they arrived home, and Cassandra talked of nothing but the new house. After they got home Mrs. Warrangton started dinner. Cassandra was still talking about the new house with her dad, and she still rambled on about it all throughout dinner. After dinner, Cassandra and her father played a game of checkers while Mrs. Warrangton sewed. After beating her father at two games of checkers Cassandra was told to go to bed. “You’re going to have to wake up early in the morning for school.” Mrs. Warrangton reminded her. Cassandra thought that she might never sleep, but she did, and she was very excited about tomorrow. She was looking forward to looking out of that window in her room at the new house.

The big move Cassandra woke up early next morning like her mother told her to. She started getting ready for school. Cassandra always looked forward to going to school, but today she wanted school over with because she wanted to move into her new home. She tossed all her stuff onto her backpack, raced downstairs, and gobbled her muffins. She was to excited to talk about anything but the move at breakfast time. She helped with what she could, packing stuff into boxes and putting them by the door. On the bus later, she could hardly contain herself. She told Sarah her best friend about the move and what her new house looked like. The excitement was contagious. Soon Sarah and a host of her other friends were asking to come over and see the house and help them move. “That’s fine,” Cassandra said, “but let me just ask my mom if you guys can help.” Cassandra could hardly wait to ask her mother if her friends could come over. She went straight to the office when she got to school and asked to use the payphone. She was granted permission and soon secured her mothers permission to tell her other friends to come over. Later in class that day, Ms. Gildart was so befuddled as to why Cassandra couldn’t focus that she asked her to stay after class, which had never before happened to her. “Cassandra, why did you seem unable to concentrate today? I’ve never before seen you so. You’ve normally been one of my best students. Today, it seemed like Johnny was the best focused person in class today, which is very rare.” Cassandra shuddered. Johnny was one of Cassandra’s sworn enemies, who had always teased her about how ugly she was. Ms. Gildart had said before not to pay any attention to him, for Cassandra was one of the prettiest girls in the whole fifth grade class. Cassandra had vowed not to ever let that Johnny do better than her in school, and he never usually did. “I don’t know. I guess I’m just about moving into a new house. It’s so pretty and unusual.” “You’re moving dear?” Ms. Gildart exclaimed in surprise. “Will you be coming to school here still?” “Yes, and I’m so sorry for not paying attention in class. “Oh that’s alright! I recall when I first moved as a fourth grader, I was so excited…No, it’s completely understandable. You can go to lunch now; just try to focus the rest of the day, Ok, honey?” ” Yes, Ms. Gildart. Thank you!” “You’re welcome.” Cassandra ran down the hall to the cafeteria. Mr. Cloy, the janitor, happened to be walking down the hall at that very moment; he told Cassandra to slow down and not run.

Cassandra’s feet stopped running but her heart was racing as though it were running a marathon. She walked into the cafeteria to find her friends sitting at a table waiting for her. “Why did Ms. Gildart want you to stay after class?” Emily asked. Emily was another one of Cassandra’s friends but Sarah was still her best chum. “Oh, nothing. She was just wondering if I understood the homework from last week.” Cassandra did not find the need to tell her friends why she stayed after class. After lunch, Cassandra and the rest of the students went back to class. Cassandra did her very best to focus on Ms. Gildart, and she managed to do an assignment despite her excitement. Johnny scowled at her like he usually did everyday. On the bus later, Sarah told Cassandra that she would have to go to her mother’s first to get permission to come over and help move. The bus stopped at Cassandra’s house, and Cassandra and her host of friends came off and ran to the Warrangton house. Mrs. Warrangton greeted all of them with her sweet kindness. “I think Sarah is going to come over little later.” Cassandra told her mother. Mrs. Warrangton offered cookies to all of the girls. They couldn’t refuse; they were freshly baked and they looked so good. Each girl was munching a cookie when Mr. Warrangton came into the room. “Well, I wasn’t expecting so much help for moving.” He remarked. The girls seemed to be there more for the delicious chocolate chip cookies than to help the Warrangton’s move, but they also wanted to see Cassandra’s new house. Cassandra ate her cookies, and then went up to her room to start packing with a trail of girls following her. Mrs. Warrangton momentarily came up to Cassandra’s room. “Cassandra, I’m very sorry to have to say this to you, but you can only take one boxful of things with you. We have to cut down on moving costs, because it costs money to take a lot of stuff with us. I’m sorry but that is the way it has to be. We’ll get you new stuff soon, I promise.” “Really, Mom?” Cassandra exclaimed. “Yes, honey. Now don’t complain.” “Mom, please! There’s a lot of stuff I want to take!” “Honey, this is for your own good. You’re getting to old for a lot of stuff in here.” Mrs. Warrangton left the room leaving silence in her wake. Cassandra blushed at being corrected in front of her friends/ Now came the real internal struggle. Cassandra had at least five hundred things that she wanted to take with her. She loved every single one of her toys and treated them each like a human being. Now each of her friends was suggesting what she should take. “You should take your radio, your teddy bear. Your aquarium with your fish, and your box of games.” Kelsey suggested. Most of her friends were making different

suggestions. Now Cassandra was left in a lurch. She had everyone suggesting different things, things that they would themselves take, what they liked. While all of her friends babbled on about what she should take Cassandra looked around her room at all of the things that she really possessed. “What do I want to take?” Cassandra mused. Looking at her rocking chair in one corner, she decided to take it, because it would be the perfect thing to put near her window in her new room, and she could sit down and look out all she wanted. She then decided to take her one and only favorite stuffed animal, he was a lion, and his name was aslan. Next she decided upon her favorite picture that was in a frame. It was her parents wedding picture. Cassandra loved this picture. Her mom looked so beautiful in the white wedding dress with the train swept around her feet as though she were walking on clouds. Her curly brunette hair hung over her shoulders, with a lacy veil covering her hair. Her blue eyes shone, and the sweet smile that was part of her spread over her whole face, she looked very happy and she had a special glow that manifested her happiness. Cassandra’s father looked smart in a black suit with black bow tie and white shirt. His eyes were the color of hazelnuts and his handsome blond hair contrasted his suit. Cassandra looked at this picture and smiled, they looked so happy together. Cassandra looked around the room again trying to see what else she should take. “I don’t really know yet.” Cassandra said. She couldn’t think straight with someone talking to her. She was still thinking when an imaginary light bulb clicked inside of her head. She went to her closet and took out a nice box that had a red ribbon tied around it. Inside it held her treasures. It was a writing set that her parents gave her for a Christmas present last year. It held a set of ten sharpened pencils, four thick tablets, and two erasers, all in a silver hinged box with red velvet lining. Cassandra declared this was one of the best presents she had ever received. One of the thick tablets inside contained many stories that Cassandra had written, and Cassandra thought that this was one of the most important things that she must bring to the new house. “What is that?” Kelsey asked. “Oh its just some writing tablets.” Cassandra replied casually. “Why do you want to bring writing tablets with you? You should bring your radio instead.” Kelsey seemed to be scoffing at her friend, but Cassandra loved her writing much more than a radio. Sarah, who just showed up, understood and complimented Cassandra thoughtful choice, which was one of the reasons why she was such a special friend. She always let you be yourself and didn’t make you feel stupid about your opinions and she knew that a radio could be easily replaced. Her precious writing tools could not. Cassandra chose several other belongings to take with her to the new homestead and she and her friends packed them up carefully in the large box

that her mom had given her. Then her friends departed to go home because it was almost dinnertime. Cassandra was surprised that the men had already arrived from the moving company that her dad had hired, and most of the rooms downstairs were already empty. “Dad, how on earth is this whole house empty already?” Cassandra exclaimed. “We have men who are very fast at their job.” Mr. Warrangton said. Cassandra watched the men who moved things around and took some of the things outdoors to the waiting van. She went up to her room to get her boxful of things that she wanted to take with. Mrs. Warrangton met her in the hallway and told her to put the box down. “Lets see what we have here.” Mrs. Warrangton said as she kneeled on the ground, hovering over Cassandra’s box. After taking everything out, Mrs. Warrangton approved of almost everything except the stuffed lion. “Cassandra you’re getting to old for stuffed animals.” “Mom, I know! But that’s the only stuffed animal that I want to take with me; he’s very special to me and I like him, can’t we please take him with?” Cassandra was begging so hard that she might as well have gotten down on the floor and stuck out her hands the way a dog would stand on it’s hind legs and hold its forepaws up to beg for food. “Ok, I guess so.” Mrs. Warrangton gave in as she put the stuffed animal back into the box. “Is, this everything that you want to take? Mrs. Warrangton asked. “Almost all of it is except I want to take my rocking chair with.” Cassandra replied. “Cassandra, now that is one thing that we can not take with.” Mrs. Warrangton said. “Why, Mom?” “Because of what I told you earlier about moving costs.” Mrs. Warrangton replied as she got up from her sitting position on the floor. “I’ll be right back you stay here.” Mrs. Warrangton walked away and downstairs. As she watched her mother walk away she almost cried. “I want to have that rocking chair, so I can put it near my window, how can she take it away from me?” Cassandra thought. Meanwhile, Mrs. Warrangton was downstairs talking to her husband about her daughter’s request for the rocking chair. “We just can’t have her bringing that chair with honey.” “I know dear lets go and talk to her about it.” Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton both walked back up the stairs. “Cassandra what is your reason for wanting this chair so bad?” Mr. Warrangton asked his daughter. “Because, that chair is one of my favorite things! When we move into our new house, I wanted to put the chair near that window in my room, so I could look out whenever I please and watch the sunrise! I had my

heart set on doing that very thing when I first saw the new house.” Cassandra replied looking sad. “Oh I understand. Sunsets are very special things. You may take the chair with.” Cassandra could have leapt into her father’s arms, she was so joyful. “Thank you dad!” Cassandra cried bouncing on her toes. Mrs. Warrangton didn’t look too happy but she went along with it anyway. Mr. Warrangton picked up Cassandra’s box and went downstairs with his wife. Soon a man came upstairs to get the rocking chair. “Cassandra, time to go.” Mrs. Warrangton called from downstairs. Cassandra looked at her empty room and kissed it goodbye, and then walked downstairs. Cassandra was going to miss this house, but she was happy that her next room had a window where she could look at sunsets all she wanted. Cassandra ran downstairs and out of the house with her parents and got into the car. Mr. Warrangton started the car and drove toward the new house. Soon they arrived at the brown two-story house and rolled up the paved driveway. Cassandra got out of the car with her parents and went up the steps. She took her shoes off, and walked into the living room. Some of the furniture was already deposited here. The old brown couch was in them middle of the room, and two black chairs stood on the other side of the room. Mr. Warrangton came into the room and told Cassandra that she should go up to her room. Cassandra gladly ran up the stairs to her room. She stopped suddenly in the hallway when she peeked through a crack in her bedroom door and saw a big mahogany brown desk in the corner with her silver box placed in the center, holding all of her writing treasures. She was delighted! A special place for her to do her homework and daydream her story’s. When she recovered enough to walk again, she entered the room to find an even bigger surprise: a large mahogany canopy that matched the desk, and it was draped in exquisite French lace! “Oh, Dad! Oh, Mom!” exclaimed Cassandra, as she down on the beautiful hardwood floor. “I’ve never seen a lovelier room!” she declared. “I can’t believe its mine! “Well, go and check it out,” said Mr. Warrangton, who had silently followed Cassandra up the stairs with his wife. Cassandra walked over and sat gingerly on the new bed, though she was afraid she’d wake up and it would be gone. After a few seconds, though, it was still there, so she reached out and enclosed herself with the lace curtains. She felt as though the whole world had faded and she was safe in her special fort. “Do you like it?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “Oh, Mom!” was all Cassandra could mumble. “Well, why don’t you have your friends over tomorrow to see the new house, honey,” said her Mom. Cassandra made the arrangements with the other girls,

had a cheese sandwich, and organized her things in her desk that night before dozing off behind the lace curtain. The next day was bright and sunny and her friends all brought her “roomwarming” gifts when they came to visit. They were nice girls, and told her how happy they were for her. Sarah, though, seemed distracted. Cassandra’s friends stayed awhile chatting and eating cookies. Pretty soon it was time for them to go home and eat dinner. All went home except Sarah. Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton bade them goodbye. “Sarah, aren’t you going home.” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “In a little while, but may I go up to Cassandra’s room and speak with her?” “Why, of course.” Mrs. Warrangton gave permission. Sarah went upstairs with Cassandra leading her. They both walked into Cassandra’s room and shut the door behind them. Cassandra sat in her rocking chair and Sarah sat on the chair that went with the mahogany desk. “Cassandra,” Sarah began, “I have some very bad news for you.” Sarah looked very sad and unhappy. “What is it, Sarah?” Cassandra said. “I’m moving to England.” “What!” Cassandra leaned forward in her chair. “Yes. I’m sorry, Cassie, but that’s how it has to be.” Sarah said sadly. “But, why?” Cassandra asked. “My dad has a job offer there that he can’t refuse.” Sarah replied. “But why England of all places? Why not somewhere in the United States?” Cassandra asked Sarah. “I don’t know, Cassie, but I’m going to miss you so.” Sarah looked like she was going to cry. “We can correspond everyday; I promise.” Cassandra tried to cheer her self and her friend up but in spite of it she was feeling pretty low. “Yes, maybe so. But it won’t be the same as seeing each other in person and talking and playing together.” Sarah shook her pretty blond head sadly. “We can tell each other everything that goes on our everyday lives and pretend like were living together through letters.” Cassandra said. Sarah’s sad blue eyes looked around the room. “When are you moving?” Cassandra asked “Thursday.” Sarah replied. “Thursday!” Cassandra repeated. “That soon?” “I’m afraid so.” Sarah looked up at Cassandra and burst into tears. ‘Oh, Sarah don’t cry.” Cassandra got up and out her arms around her friend. Sarah cried for a while and then dried her eyes. “Sarah, would you like a farewell party over at my house, just you and me together with my parents? We can spend the whole day together. Since your already going to have a party at school with our class we don’t need to invite the others just you and me. Sarah considered this for a moment.

“Yes, we’ll spend the whole day together, that would be fun.” Cassandra and Sarah hugged for awhile and then Sarah said she must go home.” “But you have to tell my parents first, don’t you?” Cassandra asked. “I would rather you tell them for fear I might cry again.” Sarah replied as she got up to leave. Cassandra led the way back downstairs, and Sarah said goodbye to Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton and left for a home that would soon never be hers anymore. “Sarah looked like she was crying.” Mrs. Warrangton said after she had left. “Yes, Mom she was crying because she is moving to England away from me.” “Oh, I’m sorry dear we are sure going to miss her, she was a nice little playmate for you.” “She was more to me than just a playmate.” Cassandra said. Mrs. Warrangton thought that Sarah was just like the rest of the other girls who were playmates to Cassandra; she didn’t understand how much of a friend Sarah was to her daughter. Cassandra felt very near to tears herself but she managed to hold them back because she was a young lady and she did not want to cry in front of her parents. “When is she going to move?” Mr. Warrangton asked. “Thursday.” Cassandra replied. “Thursday!” Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton chorused just as Cassandra had moments before when her friend first told her. “That’s two days from now.” Mr. Warrangton exclaimed. “We should have a farewell party and you should invite all of your friends.” Mrs. Warrangton suggested. “I’ve already invited Sarah to the farewell party but we aren’t going to invite any one else. Sarah and I are going to spend the whole day together.” Cassandra said. “Oh that’s fine as well.” Mrs. Warrangton said. Cassandra was silent the whole evening all throughout dinner and she didn’t have the heart or spirit to beat her dad at checkers. After dinner and an unsuccessful game of checkers, Cassandra went up to her room and sat in her rocking chair to watched the sunset. She undressed and went to bed early. She laid on her bed and stared into darkness, and thought about her very own best friend moving away from her. All the tears that were at the brim earlier when she was in front of her parents, flowed onto her pillow. She was alone and by herself with no one to watch her, and she didn’t care how old she was, it had to come out through tears and it did. Cassandra cried herself to sleep.

A sad farewell party It was a sunny morning. Birds chirped, bees buzzed. Cassandra awoke to find her room brightly lit by the sunlight. Her eyes were quite blurry quite blurry from crying the night before, but that soon went away as she lay in bed with her eyes wide open staring at the ceiling of her lacy fort bed. The sad thoughts returned to her of her best friend moving away. Today they were going to have a farewell party just for her. All of a sudden she sat up in bed. “No, I’m going to make this a good day for Sarah I’m not going to ruin it with sadness.” Cassandra said out loud with a stubborn will. She got out from underneath her covers and peeked out of her fort-like bed. She then pulled the lacy flaps back and got out of the bed and went toward the window and sat in her rocking chair. She only had a couple of minutes to drink in the view at her window before she went to school. She then got up to make her bed and tidy her room. She had recently made a resolution to always keep her room clean. After cleaning her room and making her bed, she took a shower, got dressed, brushed a couple of strokes in her auburn-brown hair, and put it into a ponytail. She took her backpack out of the closet and threw it on her shoulders and made her way downstairs. She smelled bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast. She was very hungry. She set her backpack on the living room couch, and went into the kitchen. Cassandra went and hugged her mother and father and then sat at the table. Mr. Warrangton said the blessing and they started eating. Right before Cassandra finished her eggs and bacon Mr. Warrangton had to leave for the office. Cassandra ate fast, said goodbye to her mom, and grabbed her backpack. She was out the door just in time for the school bus. Cassandra took her seat in the back of the bus with Sarah, who looked like she had been crying again. They arrived at school late because Mr. Jones the bus driver was correcting a couple of students who were acting up. Sarah told Ms. Gildart that she was moving to England and that today would be her last day at school. Ms. Gildart was very unhappy and said that they would have a farewell party for her. Half of the school day they did a little bit of school work and then the other half of the day they had the party which consisted of: ice-cream and cake. Cassandra knew that her friend was having a hard time but that he was being brave. Soon it was time to go home. All of the students were on the bus. “I have to go home first before I go to your house.” Sarah said to Cassandra.

Cassandra and Sarah got off of the bus and went their separate ways for the moment. Cassandra walked up the stairs to her house and went indoors. A whiff of freshly baked cookies cheered her for a brief moment, then she remembered that the occasion were baked for was a sad one. Her determination returned, though to try to make it a happy good-bye for Sarah. She ran upstairs to her room and sat at her desk, fresh paper with a pretty pastel floral border placed before her. She wrote a very tender poem for Sarah, with several memories of special times and hopeful plans for the future. She then emptied her treasured silver box and set the poem inside, along with some dried baby’s breath and the rest of the floral-lined notepad so they could write each other letters back and forth on it. She closed the box and wrapped it with the red velvet bow, then put it under her bed to give to her friend as a surprise. She then went to her closet and picked out a nice dress that she would wear just for her friend. She went and stared in the mirror for a while before finally figuring out what to do with her hair. She then went downstairs and into the kitchen to watch her mother bake another batch of cookies. “Mom, would you mind doing my hair for me?” Cassandra asked while she watched her mother mix batter. “Sure, dear as soon as I finish this batch of cookies.” Mrs. Warrangton replied. So for ten minutes Cassandra sat and watched her mother. Soon the cookies were in the oven, and Mrs. Warrangton was ready to do her daughters hair. Cassandra and her mother went back upstairs with the curling iron. Mrs. Warrangton set the iron on the counter and started heating it. “How would you like your hair honey?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “Like this.” Cassandra put her hair in a certain fashion to show her mother. Soon the curling iron was heated and the curling session began. “Mom, did you ever have your best friend move away from you?” Cassandra asked. Mrs. Warrangton ran a piece of hair through the tongs, set the iron down and fluffed Cassandra’s hair before answering. “Yes, I did once, Cassandra. Her name was Beth; she was a sweet, kind, loving, and caring friend, she had brown eyes and brunette hair. She was one of my best friends.” “Was she your only friend mom?” Cassandra asked. “Yes, I had many friends in my childhood but she was the only one that I liked because of who she was. “That’s how I feel about Sarah, that’s why I told you last night that she is more than a playmate to me.” Cassandra said. “I understand dear, I’m really sorry she has to move so far away. Mrs. Warrangton replied. Mrs. Warrangton spent a while longer on her daughters hair and made some finishing touches before she permitted Cassandra to look in the mirror. For the moment the sadness of her friend moving away faded because she was admiring how nice her hair was. “You did a good job mom. I like it.” Cassandra complimented her mother.

Mrs. Warrangton smiled and then left the room so that Cassandra could dress. She put on the shimmering red dress and twirled in front of her mirror. She kept fussing over herself because she wanted to look really nice for her best friend. She made a last finishing touch when the doorbell rang. “That must be Sarah.” Cassandra thought and ran toward her bed to make sure the box was tucked in well underneath. Mrs. Warrangton answered the door. Cassandra made her way downstairs, and went to the front door to find Sarah’s hair done in curls and was in a pink dress with a bow at the front. She looked so nice on the outside but on the inside she felt forlorn. Not only was Sarah feeling this way so was Cassandra. “Hi, Sarah.” Cassandra said. “Hi, Cassie.” Sarah replied. “Well, why don’t you come in.” Mrs.Warrangton invited. “Thank you ma’am.” Sarah said politely, as she walked in. Mrs. Warrangton shut the front door and left them alone “Come up to my room.” Cassandra said They both went up to up the stairs to Cassandra’s room and shut the door behind them. Thats when Cassandra noticed that Sarah had a smallish box in her hands. Sarah saw her looking at it and handed it to her. “It’s a goodbye present. It’s the antique teapot with two matching teacups and saucers that my Grandma Hazel gave me. I treasure it, but I want you to keep it in remembrance of me. said Sarah. “Oh, Sarah, how special, and how beautiful!” cood Cassandra. “Are you sure you want me to have this?” “Yes, and you can think of me every time you use it,” Sarah added. “Let’s use it now, to commemmorate your going,” Cassandra suggested. They made a pot of tea and poured it ceremoniously enjoying some of the cookies with it. Cassandra was suddenly at a loss for what to say. Their normal girlish banter seemed inappropriate for the somber occasion; she almost felt shy. Then she remebered her gift for Sarah. She was going to wait until it was time for her friend to leave, but she just couldn’t wait any longer. She went and retrieved it from under the bed. “Cassie, No! Sarah insisted. “That’s far too valuable- your special silver writing silver writing box?!” “Sarah, take it. You gave me your teapot.” Cassandra showed her the poem and the pretty bordered paper pad, and talked they could write each other back and forth on it. Sarah relented at last. They spent some time looking at old pictures, and then the conversation began flowing like old times. Sarah and cassandra were trying to pretend like they were never going to seperate or move away from each other. They talked on and on about good times that they had together. Cassandra explained how much she loved her friend.

“Girls, dinner is ready,” called Mrs. Warrangton from downstairs. Both of them went downstairs and sat at the table and put their napkins in their laps. They both had very good manners and ate like ladies. The dinner was delicious and they enjoyed it. “Are you girls ready for dessert?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. They both said yes. And they were both shocked when the desserts were brought into the room. Sitting in two sundae cups was chocolate and vanilla ice cream piled high with rich dark syrup drizzling down the sides and a plump red cherry on top with cookies beside. Cassandra never knew or though that her mother could make desserts like this! “Thank you, mom! It looks too beautiful to even eat! Exclaimed Cassandra. Mrs. Warrangton smiled and then looked expectantly at Sarah. She was staring at her sundae with blue eyes as wide as saucers. She looked up and then remembered her manners. “Thank you, ma’am,” she said. Both girls had absolutely no choice but to forget the sad moment before them. They both inspected their desserts one last time before daring to touch their spoons. They were silent as they ate the delicious ice cream. They weren’t able to eat all of it, but they ate as much as they could and enjoyed it. After dinner was over, Cassandra invited Sarah outside in the back yard. They sat on chairs outside and drank in the view of the beautiful pasture for a long time. “Cassie, I’m sorry but I must go home. My mother will be expecting me,” said Sarah, her face looked screwed up in a determined way as though not to cry. “Already?” Cassandra exclaimed. “Yes, I’m very sorry.” They both looked at each other and then collapsed into each other’s arms and then started crying. “I’m going to miss you, Cassie,” Sarah sobbed. “So am I!” Cassandra replied. They cried and cried until Cassandra let go of her friend. “We must not cry, Sarah.” Sarah looked into her friend’s eyes and nodded. Cassandra took her friends hand and said: “ Sarah, remember, no matter how far you move away, our friendship shall never cease.” Sarah dried her eyes and nodded some more. “I must go, I really must,” sniffed Sarah. “We’ll write to each other every day, I promise.” Cassandra said, giving her friend a last squeeze. “Bye, Cassie.” “Bye, Sarah.” Cassandra led Sarah back into the house to get her box and then to the front door. Sarah turned around and waved goodbye one last time. Cassandra watched her friend go down the paved walk and turn left toward her old house.

Sarah’s blond curls were blowing in the wind and her pink dress billowed around her legs. That was Cassandra’s last sight of her best friend.

A misfortune It was a Friday evening and Cassandra was racing to do her homework so that she could go up to her room and watch the sunset. Her parents taught her to do her homework first before everything. Work before play. She struggled through her math assignment and stumbled through her English. As she got out her history assignment, which was only five questions, the phone rang. “I got it!” yelled Cassandra. She picked up the phone, “Hello. Warrangton residence.” “Hi, Cassandra! How are you?” cried Emily. Awesome! And you? We haven’t talked in days!” I know, I know, because my phone line was down for a few days. But, do you want to go ice-skating tonight. Oh, I would love to! Let me ask my parents!” She put the phone down and raced into the sitting room to ask her parents. “Mom, Emily and a group of my friends are going ice-skating. Can I go?” Cassandra asked her parents. “Now calm down Cassandra. What do we never do?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. Cassandra resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Was I not supposed to interrupt.” Cassandra said, hoping desperately that she got the answer correct. “Yes, honey next time you do that again I’m going to have to deny your request. “Ok mom I’m sorry.” Cassandra said meaning it sincerely. “Have you finished your homework?” Mrs. Warrangton asked. “Almost, I just have to do five more questions, and I’m done.” Cassandra bounced on her heels excitedly, hoping her mother would say yes. Mrs. Warrangton hesitated for a long while which seemed like an eternity to Cassandra. “I guess so. Don’t stay out too late.” Mrs. Warrangton gave in. “Hurrah, thank you mom!” Cassandra nearly flew back to the telephone to tell her friend the good news “Emily are you there?” “Yes I'm here Cassandra, are you allowed to go?” Emily asked eagerly. “Yes, I am!” Cassandra said happily. “Hurrah, I’m so happy!” Emily said “What time do I meet you?” Cassandra asked. “I’ll come and pick you up at seven thirty.” Emily said. “Ok, see you then.” Cassandra put the phone on the hook, and went back to the kitchen table and raced to finish her five questions.

After finishing her homework she went up to her room and watched the glorious yellow sunset setting past the horizon shining its rays upon the crystal snow. “I wish Sarah was here to go skating with me.” Cassandra said sadly. It was only six twenty; still an hour and ten minutes until Emily would pick her up. Cassandra decided to write Sarah a letter. She watched the last golden rays sink behind the hill before getting up from the rocking chair and going over to the beautiful mahogany desk. She sat and thought awhile before beginning on her letter. When she was finished, she pushed her chair back and read the letter. It read like this. Dear Sarah, I'm writing my first letter to you because I was not able to correspond the last few days, but I promise I wont let you down next time. I am about to go ice-skating with Emily and some of the other girls. I wish you were here so bad. Every night I look at the sunset and think of you. I think of all the time when we had so much fun. It saddens me sometimes when I look at the tea set you gave me, because I know that you're so far away. I use the tea set regularly everyday and think of you and I when we were seeing each other for the last time up in my room. But I try to keep hope and know that nothing can separate us no matter how far we are from each other. I hope you are doing okay in London. I am starting a story called “Little Valley”. I am going to send it to you the day I finish it. I'm sorry that this letter is so short, but I must get ready to go ice-skating. You are in my thoughts day and night.

Yours Truly, Cassie After re-reading this letter, Cassandra felt like crying because her best friend was so far away. But a will of stubbornness formed inside of her, and she did not cry. She sat here for a long while before realizing that she must get ready to go and ice skate. She got up, went to her closet, took out the skates, and then started to put them on along with her coat and wraps. After re-reading this letter Cassandra felt like crying because her friend was so far away. But a will of stubbornness formed inside of her, and she did not cry. She sat there thinking for a long while before realizing that she must get ready to go and ice-skate.

She got up, went to her closet, took out the skates, and then started to put her coat and wraps on. After bundling herself into thick scarves and coats she went downstairs. Cassandra was just in time when the doorbell rang. Mrs. Warrangton to get it. The door was opened and there was Emily bundled in wraps just like Cassandra. “Hi, Cassandra.” “Hi, Emily.” “Remember, you girls don’t stay out too late.” Mrs. Warrangton seemed to be scolding them already before they even had the chance to be late. “Yes, mom.” Cassandra said. “Yes, Mrs. Warrangton.” Emily chimed in. “Goodbye.” Both girls said as they walked out the door. The frost bit the tip of their noses as they walked outdoors. “So what hill are we going to skate on?” Cassandra asked swinging her skates in her mittened hands. “You’re going to laugh when you hear this. Its called Deadman’s Curb.” Indeed Cassandra did laugh. She had never heard of a hill being named that. “Why Deadman’s Curb?” Cassandra asked still giggling. “Everyone says it’s named that because a dead man was found there when someone walked by.” Emily replied. They walked on until they finally reached a big hill with five other girls waiting. “Ready to get skating girls?” Emily asked. “Hurrah, yes lets skate!” everyone shouted. Skates were pulled on and everyone held hands and started skating, holding onto each other for a while until all seven girls had formed into a ring and then each girl let go of the person that they were holding onto. Cassandra skated by herself. She was a very good skater and she was able to do some crazy maneuvers on the ice. Just know she tried to do a figure skating maneuver. She held her hands high and… all of a sudden she felt a hard bump on her back and then she fell down on the ice. She felt a searing pain throughout her lower body, but she couldn’t tell where. She saw stars and then all of a sudden… her world went black.




Later on Cassandra woke up and found herself inside of her bed. She heard muffled voices somewhere outside her door. And a young woman was beside her in a nurse’s uniform and cap. She tried to sit up, but a terrible burning ache surged through her left leg. She fainted because of the terrible pain. Her head dropped back upon the pillow. The nurse looked at her worriedly. A couple

of hours later Cassandra woke up. She stared at the ceiling wondering why she was in bed. After thinking for a while it all came back to her. She was out iceskating with her friends and she fell down on the ice and then nothing. The young woman Cassandra had seen earlier when she awoke came into the room. She had brunette hair and serious gray eyes. “Hello, Cassandra, my name is Rachael, I am your nurse. You can call me Nurse Rachael, or just Rachael if you’d like.” The young woman was smiling at Cassandra. Cassandra took a good look at the nurse before even stuttering a reply. “Uh—hello, Nurse—nice to meet you.” Cassandra blinked and stared at the nurse some more, forgetting that she was not supposed to stare at strangers. Rachael seemed used to having her patients stare at her. She just smiled pleasantly at Cassandra. “Um-Nurse could I ask you a question?” Cassandra asked. “Why, yes, of course. What is it?” “Why are you my nurse?” “Because when you went ice-skating tonight you fell down and broke your leg, so I’m going to be taking care of you for a while.” The nurse replied. Cassandra couldn’t believe her leg was broken. A bunch of thoughts started to flood her brain… “I’ll never be able to walk again, I’ll never go to school, and I’ll never see Ms. Gildart.” While thinking this she was almost in a panic, but she tried to not let Rachael see it. “Nurse can I ask you a couple more questions?” Cassandra felt odd speaking to a nurse this way, but she didn’t know how to ask anything when her brain was in such a fluster. “Of course; ask me anything you want to know.” The nurse said, looking upon Cassandra with a friendly look. “Am I going to be in bed for a long while?” Cassandra asked apprehensively. “I’m afraid you’ll have to ask the doctor that when he arrives, I’m only his assistant and your assistant as well.” Rachael replied with a smile. “When will the doctor come?” Cassandra asked. “In the morning.” Rachael replied. The nurse told Cassandra that she would be right back; she was going to get her some food. While the nurse was out, Mrs. Warrangton came into the room with a rueful look on her face. “Oh, Cassandra I’m so sorry! Please forgive me, I should not have let you go ice-skating; it was all my fault.” Mrs. Warrangton seemed to be on the verge of tears. Cassandra was deeply troubled that her mother was blaming herself. She did not know how to comfort her mother, nor did she know what to say to her. She wanted to hug her but she couldn’t because she was lying down in bed. “No, mother, it was not your fault.” Cassandra was deeply distraught. The nurse had returned with Cassandra’s food, and saw that Mrs. Warrangton was about to cry. She set the tray down immediately and hugged Mrs. Warrangton.

Cassandra’s mother soon calmed down and went downstairs to leave her alone. Rachael helped Cassandra sit up and put some pillows behind her so that she could eat. Cassandra looked down at her food with a blank face. For some roast beef and potatoes did not appeal to her. She ate a couple of bites and then drank her tea and gave the tray back to Rachael. Rachael set the tray on the bedside table. “It’s time you went to sleep.” She said as she started to put pillows back into the laying position and putting blankets over Cassandra and tucking her in. “Goodnight.” Rachael said “Goodnight, Nurse.” Cassandra replied. Rachael picked up the tray and walked out of Cassandra’s room leaving her in the dark. Cassandra laid there trying to analyze how she would have broken her leg. She was usually careful on the ice, then she remembered, right before she had passed out, she felt a terrible bump behind her before falling. Cassandra went to sleep with bad dreams about what had happened. It was an unsuccessful sleeping night for Cassandra. Next morning when Cassandra awoke, she heard a pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof, and it was a dull gray outside. Cassandra was about to get up but then right away she remembered that she couldn’t. Soon Rachael came into the room with a breakfast tray that smelled delicious. She helped Cassandra sit up in bed and then put the tray in her lap. Cassandra was a lot more hungrier than last night, and she was eating her sausage and eggs right when her parent s walked in. “Good morning, Cassandra.” Her parents said. “Good morning, Dad and Mom.” Cassandra replied. Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton looked worried but they managed to be cheerful. “You have mail.” Mr. Warrangton announced. Cassandra’s spirits lifted. “I do?” Cassandra asked just for the sake of hearing those blessed words again. “Yes, you do, here.” Mr. Warrangton handed Cassandra an envelope. Cassandra felt it delightfully. It was plump! “Thank you.” Cassandra said. Her parents smiled and then departed from the room to go and eat their breakfasts. Cassandra ate her breakfast in a hurry and then tore at the envelope, her heart beating with excitement. The letter was of course from Sarah and she had plenty of news for Cassandra to enjoy. She read and re-read the letter over again until she finally put the piece of paper in her lap. She started thinking while Rachael bustled about the room to tidy it and put things in order. How was she going to write her friend, and tell her that she broke her leg? It just seemed absolutely impossible. She stared at the ceiling trying to ponder what to do. She was going to have to tell her, she promised her friend that she would tell her everything that went on, and that what something that you could

not keep from a best friend. Cassandra sighed and picked the piece of paper up and re-read the letter again. Here is what it said: Dear Cassie, The house that we just moved to over here in England is so nice and so big. I’ll give you a tour of it on paper. The front of the house has two windows on the third story and the same with the second and first story. The whole house is painted a chocolate brown, and at the front there are about six steps that you have to go up to get to the inside of the house. On the front porch are two chairs in which I come out and sit on frequently, and then a table beside me with purple violets atop. When you go inside of the house there is a huge closet that holds many coats for the family or for guests if any ever do come over, and a shoe holder with individual notches to hold each shoe. There is a welcome mat with a silly cartoon of a dog. In the middle of this lobby-like room is a big chandelier that glitters when light is shown through. And when you enter the guest room there is a large red carpet laid on the floor, and then there is a couch and two love seats that are white trimmed with red lining, and the draperies for the window are red as well. And then the kitchen is so white, just like your kitchen is Cassie; everything is shining and white and every pot and pan shines! It takes your breath away just to look at it. And then if you enter the dining room there is a big table with three chairs on each side and two medium sized chandeliers in the middle. There is a winding staircase that leads you to the second story of the house. When you go to the second story there is a cream-colored hall with brown carpeting. There are three rooms on the second story of the house, one is a bathroom that is so huge and so clean, and the there is a bedroom, which is my parents that is huge. Thy have a queen bed and it’s a pale blue with also pale blue draperies for the window. And then the third room of the second story of this house is the music room; in it is a grand piano that was bought just for my mother and me. We both love to play the piano, in fact I think that I like than piano better than my mother does. There is a big black stool that is under the piano at the moment but it is pulled out when in use. Then there is yet another winding staircase that leads to the third story. On there are only two rooms, one is my room the other is the guest bedroom. The guest bedroom has a big bed with to many pillows! Also in the guest bedroom there is a big window with pale pink curtains. In my room there is a big brown wooden dresser, a big closet, a canopy bed just like yours Cassie; with pink lace and a big window with pink lace curtains and a desk were your red box you gave me is kept. That is a tour of our house on paper. I am starting to take singing lessons with a new singing teacher named Mrs. Ponte. She is very nice and I like her. I have made some knew friends here in England but they never will take your spot Cassie. I miss you so and I think of you all the time and wish your were here. Sincerely, Sarah

Cassandra put the paper down and asked Rachael if she could bring her writing tablet to her so that she could write her friend back. Cassandra sat up in bed and leaned her head back against the pillow trying to think what to say. After thinking of the right words to say, she wrote her friend a letter, telling about how she broke her leg and she doesn’t know how long before she can walk again. After finishing the letter she asked Rachael if she could take it to her parents to mail to her friend. Rachael went and did as Cassandra asked; she was out of the room for the moment. Cassandra was thinking about how much she missed her friend and how she wished that she were right there beside her. Cassandra wanted to cry, but Rachael returned back into the room so she held her tears. “Cassandra, the doctor is going to be here in a couple of minutes.” Rachael said. Cassandra was almost afraid to know her fate whether she would be in bed for the rest of her life or not. Rachael started bustling around the room some more to make it tidy. Pretty soon the doorbell rang and Cassandra knew that the doctor had arrived. The nurse stood ready at the door. Soon enough came the knock; Rachael opened the door and invited the doctor inside with Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton following behind him. The doctor was dressed in a tweed suit, and he carried a bag that looked like what Cassandra’s father carried to the office. It was almost like a briefcase, only difference was it carried doctor’s instruments, instead of office papers. The doctor had brown wavy hair and warm friendly eyes. “Hello, Cassandra, my name is Dr. Gilbert, I will be examining you today.” Dr. Gilbert walked over to the bed. “Nice to meet you Dr. Gilbert.” Cassandra said. Dr. Gilbert set his bag down on the bedside table and spoke to the nurse. “I understand she has broken her leg?” “Yes, just last night, she went ice-skating and fell down.” Dr. Gilbert made a through examination of Cassandra, and told her fate. “It isn’t as bad as I would have expected, I think you’ll be able to walk in a week as long as you start exercising soon and take small walks everyday with the nurse to help you.” “Thank you, Dr. Gilbert.” Cassandra said politely. The doctor said goodbye to Cassandra and asked Rachael if he could see her outside in the hall. Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton went into the hall as well. Cassandra was left alone to collect her thoughts. “A week I’ll be out of bed!” Cassandra’s spirits soared to the sky. She wanted the week over with already so she could walk again. Soon Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton came back into the room with news. “Cassandra you nurse is going to be married soon.” Cassandra was surprised at this. “How do you know?” she asked. “We just overheard it.”

“But how, and who is she going to be married to?” Cassandra asked. “She is marrying the doctor that just examined you.” Mrs. Warrangton said all in one breath. “They are perfect for each other!” Cassandra exclaimed. “But how do you know that they are going to be married?” she asked. “We overheard them in the hall. Dr. Gilbert was saying something to the nurse about how he couldn’t wait until they were married so that they could be together.” Cassandra felt like she was dreaming, Nurse Rachael to be married soon, it just did not seem right. Right then Rachael entered the room and all three of them tried to pretend like they were talking about something else. Cassandra’s parents departed from the room and Cassandra noticed that Rachael was a little bit flushed in the cheeks but she did not say anything. The doctor had permitted Cassandra to start the exercises with the nurse today. Five days had passed by and Cassandra was still doing fairly well on her exercises. She missed being able to go and sit in her chair and watch the sunset, because most of her time was spent in bed. So she asked her mother to put yellow curtains up so that they resembled the sun. It was on the sixth day of the week that Cassandra was in bed, when it was her twelfth birthday. Cassandra was not happy, she knew herself that no one can have a good birthday in bed. On her twelfth birthday she stared at the yellow curtains that hung from her window and wished desperately that she could go and look out. She was looking forward to the week being over with so that she could walk around and do as she pleased. She realized how much she took something as simple as walking around for granted. She knew that she took a lot of things for granted in life. She made a resolution to be more thankful. On her twelfth birthday she was feeling desolate and gloomy, and she wished hard that her friend was right there so that she could pour her heart out to her. Cassandra was sitting and thinking her bleak thoughts when all of a sudden her bedroom door flew open and her parents marched in and they were singing happy birthday:

“Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday Dear Cassandra, Happy Birthday to YOU!”

Cassandra tried to smile, but it didn’t seem to make much difference to her. Someone could sing “Happy birthday” to her all day long and it still wouldn’t feel like a birthday. Mr. and Mrs. Warrangton were still marching towards Cassandra’s bed and Mr. Warrangton held some kind of bundle. “Cassandra close your eyes and hold out your hands.” Mr. Warrangton told her. Cassandra did as she was told and a furry bundle was placed into her arms. “You may open your eyes now.” Mrs. Warrangton said. Cassandra opened her eyes to find a furry sleek little body wriggling in her arms. It was a puppy! He was a black Labrador! The puppy looked up at Cassandra with playful eyes and started licking her face. Cassandra’s gloominess disappeared, she was laughing excitedly. “Is he mine?” Cassandra asked. “Yes he is your birthday present from us.” Mrs. Warrangton said. “Oh, thank you guys so much!” Cassandra’s eyes shone as the puppy licked her face some more. “What are you going to name him?” “I think I’ll name him Checkers, because he can sit and watch dad and I play checkers.” Cassandra was smiling happily. “That is a perfect name.” Mrs. Warrangton exclaimed. Cassandra thought her birthday was going to be a bad one but it turned out just right. A couple of her friends came over, and so did Ms. Gildart. Mrs. Warrangton baked a cake and placed twelve candles in the cake for Cassandra to blow out. Cassandra had a small birthday party in bed and she was happier than expected. When it was all over, Cassandra’s friends went home, but Ms. Gildart stayed for a couple more minutes beside Cassandra’s bed. “Cassandra, I’m afraid you missed the trip to cedar point.” “I know Ms. Gildart, I’m not very happy about it but there is nothing that I can do.” “I had the same exact thing happen to me when I was a child, I broke a couple of ribs and I had to stay in bed for a whole month, while my class was having the biggest Christmas party of the whole year.” “A whole month!” Cassandra exclaimed. “Yes. I’m very glad you’re trying to have a good attitude toward the whole situation.” “Thank you, Ms. Gildart.” “Well, I must go now.” Ms. Gildart said. “Bye” said Cassandra. They hugged for a long, long time. Cassandra felt that she had found another best friend that fully understood everything. That friend of course was Ms. Gildart, who was her favorite teacher. Cassandra was soon able to walk better, even though she still had a dull ache in her leg. She did not need the nurse anymore.

Rachael confided to Cassandra that she was going to be married soon. Cassandra gave the biggest congratulations to her that was possible. One day Cassandra’s leg was feeling so good that she decided to go to school. Her parents still worried about her but she assured them that she would be ok. She had a slight limp but other than that she was practically healed. When she returned from school, Checkers greeted her at the door, with his little tail wagging and his face seemed to be smiling at her. Checkers was a best friend to Cassandra now. She picked him up and cuddled him in her arms as he licked her face thoroughly.

The letter Cassandra’s leg was doing much better after two months she was not limping at all, and she could run like a regular child. It was summer break for Cassandra; she tried to enjoy herself as much as possible. One sunny morning Cassandra was in the middle of eating her breakfast when Mrs. Warrangton was getting the mail, she walked in and Cassandra an envelope. Cassandra thought it was from Sarah, but how could it be it wasn’t plump like her letters usually were. She turned the envelope over and it had different script on it than Sarah’s. Cassandra tore the envelope open and one sheet of paper slipped out. It said plenty enough for Cassandra to be excited:

Dear Cassandra, I am inviting you to come over to England in two days to visit Sarah for a whole month, she and I would be glad to have you, and she would be very happy. Please respond to this invitation soon. Mrs. Brown “Cassandra, what are you so excited about?” Mrs. Warrangton was bewildered as to why Cassandra’s cheeks were so pink, and why she was practically jumping up and down on the tip of her toes. Mrs. Brown was of course Sarah’s mother. “Here mom, you read it.” Cassandra handed her mother the slip of paper. After she read it the question slipped out of Cassandra’s mouth before she could even think. “Can I go?” “I’ll have to talk it over with your father first.” It was a day before Cassandra found out whether she could go or not. “Cassandra, your mother and I think you should go and see your friend, It would be your first time traveling, and Sarah would be so happy so go ahead and write her back. “Oh, Dad! Oh, Mom!” Cassandra leapt up and flung her arms around her parents and kissed them both. She was so happy! That very night she was very busy, writing Mrs. Brown back, and packing. Mrs. Warrangton was making Cassandra a new dress for the trip. Mr. Warrangton called up one of his friends to watch her on the trip.

The next morning Cassandra ate her breakfast so fast that one time she almost choked. “Goodness Cassandra slow down!” Mrs. Warrangton said. The new summer dress was put on Cassandra, and her suitcase was ready. Mr. Ambrose who was Mr. Warrangton’s friend was expected to pick Cassandra up soon. Cassandra wanted to take her dog Checkers with to show Sarah but her parents would not permit it. Soon Mr. Ambrose arrived and Cassandra gave long goodbyes and hugs to her parents. And she took a leisurely time saying goodbye to checkers. But she had to leave sometime! Right? She got into Mr. Ambrose’s car and she was off to visit her best chum for a whole month. She never forgot her resolution to not take things for granted so much. She tried to be thankful everyday.


About the author

Rachael Auburn was born in 1999. She is not an official author yet but she plans to be. In her family she is well known for writing lots of poems, story’s, and songs. She has loved to write every since she was just a baby, when she was even able to write. For Rachael when it came to writing she found out that it can be a very good way to express yourself and your thoughts. She wrote her first poem at the age of seven, and has been doing poems since then. She is also a singer songwriter, and first discovered how much this meant to her at the age of thirteen. She started singing when she was nine, and started to take it serious when she was also thirteen. Music has been a big part of Rachael’s life and there is no way she could part with it even if she wanted to. She loves the sight of pen and paper and when every chance is possible she uses her skills. Most of the time she makes up her own sayings and this is one of them: “If you fight me with your muscle power, I fight back with pen and paper that will crush your little tower.” She believes that getting up everyday to be strong is a purpose worth living for. She’s learned with a past and a future and realizes how much people need her, so she continues.


Somewhat of a children's book.

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